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Google might be working on a standalone AR headset

Now that commercial VR experiences are finally picking up in popularity and receiving wider acceptance and adoption, it seems like a pretty opportune time to start pushing the boundaries further with augmented reality as well. While definitely not a new concept, AR is still mostly confined to labs, specialized use cases and only a few really rare and/or professional grade hardware offers, like Microsoft’s HoloLens or the Magic Leap One.

That could all change pretty soon, since industry insiders claim that Google is working on some AR hardware of its own. As far as rumors go, the device will be standalone and based on a Qualcomm chipset. Some sources hint at the QCS603 – an IoT SoC, with some impressive fire-power, including up to 2,560x 1,440 pixel resolution, 1080p video capture, with 3D overlays and support for OpenGL ES 3.2 and Vulkan.

The Google A65 moniker is being tossed around, along with news of development help from Quanta and Meta (An American AR company). The latter are currently working on a device of their own, dubbed the A66 . However, its unclear in and how much the two are related. Regardless, there aren’t many particulars available on the A66 at this point, either.

Now, if history is any indication, Google’s involvement alone isn’t necessarily a sure-fire guarantee of success. You really don’t need to look any further than the overly-ambitious Google Glass project, which is kind of related to AR is well. In any case, it would be great to see more competition and some viable consumer options eventually pop-up in the niche market. That being said, it is also worth noting that Microsoft is also working on a more commercial variant of HoloLens, said to come out next year.

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